WASHINGTON — An ability to get on contract quickly and a price far lower that other companies were key factors in NASA’s decision to award a contract to Maxar Technologies for the first element of the lunar Gateway, the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE).
A source selection statement released by NASA May 23 outlined the agency’s assessment of proposals for the PPE submitted by Maxar and four other companies: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The document provides details on the technical and management aspects of the companies’ proposals as well as their price.
The document shows that Maxar, identified in the document as Space Systems Loral (SSL), the former name of its satellite manufacturing division, offered a price well below the other companies. While Maxar offered a firm fixed price of $375 million, other bids ranged from $565.9 million by Northrop to $768.8 million from SNC.
The companies were more closely matched on technical approach, which had an equal rating to price in the evaluation. All the companies received a “Very Good” rating in technical approach with the exception of SNC, which received a “Fair” rating.
Two other factors, management approach and commercial ...